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There are great benefits to connectedness, but we haven't wrapped our minds around the costs.

it takes remarkable courage and candor
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:01 am EDT, Mar 28, 2015

Charles Blow:

Our allegiance needn't -- mustn't -- be blind to be true. We must acknowledge our warts if we are to proclaim our beauty. Our aggrandizement must be grounded. We must be willing to laud America where it has soared and rebuke it where it has faltered.

Marianne Williamson:

The entire American News establishment would be fired if telling the truth was the minimum standard.

Dr. Leonard Wong and Dr. Stephen J. Gerras:

Untruthfulness is surprisingly common in the U.S. military even though members of the profession are loath to admit it. Further, much of the deception and dishonesty that occurs in the profession of arms is actually encouraged and sanctioned by the military institution. The end result is a profession whose members often hold and propagate a false sense of integrity that prevents the profession from addressing -- or even acknowledging -- the duplicity and deceit throughout the formation. It takes remarkable courage and candor for leaders to admit the gritty shortcomings and embarrassing frailties of the military as an organization in order to better the military as a profession. Such a discussion, however, is both essential and necessary for the health of the military profession.

the burden of being fully appreciated
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:00 am EDT, Mar 28, 2015

Benjamin Clymer:

Whether the case is gold or platinum, the price of a Philippe Dufour watch remains (roughly) static -- you are not paying for materials, you are paying for Mr. Dufour's time and touch. The Apple Watch has minimal human value, and that is the biggest difference between it and its mechanical counterparts.

Ian Parker, on Jony Ive:

His manner suggests the burden of being fully appreciated.

Nick Foulkes:

If only more fanatics were like Jony Ive.

creative destruction in a nutshell
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:00 am EDT, Mar 28, 2015

The Economist:

Agriculture accounts for 80% of water consumption in California, for example, but only 2% of economic activity.

James Hamblin:

Each almond requires 1.1 gallons of water to produce.

Alex Tabarrok:

In short, we are spending thousands of dollars worth of water to grow hundreds of dollars worth of almonds and that is truly nuts.

Eduardo Porter:

Despite California's distress, about half of the homes in the capital, Sacramento, still don't have water meters, paying a flat fee no matter how much water they consume.

the workings of the system
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:53 am EDT, Mar 28, 2015

Humera Khan:

The communities that are least inclined to engage are often the ones that need the outreach the most.

Dana Tamir:

Trusteer's services team discovers massively distributed APT malware such as Dyre and Citadel in virtually every customer environment it works with.

Siobhan Gorman, in 2012:

Companies aren't obligated to disclose a breach to another company as part of an acquisition deal, said Jacob Olcott of Good Harbor Consulting, a firm that advises companies on national-security issues. It is up to the acquiring company to ask, he said.

Joel Warner:

He's stopped listing his master's degree from Indiana State on his resume. He's been told it's better to have it appear as if he was doing nothing at all during that time than to be associated with a low-prestige school.

Damian Paletta:

Mr. Burr said the bill would allow companies to share information with intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency, but only if the data wasn't provided in "electronic form." He didn't provide more details.


The measures offer corporations liability protection if they share information with intelligence agencies. Data handed over also would be "scrubbed" twice to remove personal information.

Mark Seaborn:

History has shown that issues that are thought to be 'only' reliability issues often have significant security implications.

The Economist:

The architecture of Estonia's system is poorly documented, and that rules for classification of data as sensitive, personal, secret or public were not suitable for digital continuity: "frequently only a small number of experts understand the workings of the system," the report notes.

relatively unconcerned with the potential for harm
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:52 am EDT, Mar 28, 2015

Evgeny Morozov:

Nicholas Carr's oeuvre is representative of contemporary technology criticism both in the questions that it asks and the issues it avoids. Thus, there's the trademark preoccupation with design problems, and their usually easy solutions, but hardly a word on just why it is that startups founded on the most ridiculous ideas have such an easy time attracting venture capital. That this might have something to do with profound structural transformations in the American economy -- e.g., its ever-expanding financialization -- is not a conclusion that today's technology criticism could ever reach.

David Remnick:

Kleptocracies rarely value theoretical tracts. They value numbered accounts. They value the stability of their own arrangements.

Danny Sullivan:

Someone getting a lot of VC investment isn't a sign they're successful at anything other than getting VC funding.

Eric Giannella:

Most investors would rather not see their firms get mired in the fraught issue of defining what is morally better according to various groups; they prefer objective benefits, measured via return on investment (ROI) or other metrics. Yet, the fact that business goals and cultural sentiments go hand in hand so well ought to give us pause.

Everyone can, at a minimum, ask whether they are doing more harm than good. The trouble in Silicon Valley is that many talented, highly educated young people seem relatively unconcerned with the potential for harm. To be more aware of not harming people, much less helping them, we need to cultivate moral intuitions by discussing the consequences of our work for specific people.

Penelope Trunk:

You should always negotiate a way to buy each other out if you start hating your co-founder. But at the beginning of a startup you are so enamored that you cannot imagine what you will want to do ... when your electricity is cut off.

the black hole is still there, patiently waiting to swallow us
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:50 am EDT, Mar 28, 2015

George W. Bush White House:

The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction -- and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack. To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act pre-emptively.

Yuval Noah Harari:

The state has stressed so many times that it will not tolerate political violence within its borders that it has no alternative but to see any act of terrorism as intolerable. The citizens, for their part, have become used to zero political violence, so the theatre of terror incites in them visceral fears of anarchy, making them feel as if the social order is about to collapse. After centuries of bloody struggles, we have crawled out of the black hole of violence, but we feel that the black hole is still there, patiently waiting to swallow us again. A few gruesome atrocities and we imagine that we are falling back in.

Michael S. Schmidt:

Tactics that began as a response to terrorism have become part of the government's approach to more routine crimes.

Andrew Keatts:

When does smart policing become a police state?

David Graeber:

The police, then, are essentially just bureaucrats with weapons. Their main role in society is to bring the threat of physical force -- even, death -- into situations where it would never have been otherwise invoked ...

If you see a policeman and you feel more safe, rather than less, then you can be pretty sure you're middle class. Yet for the first time since polling began, most Americans in 2012 indicated they do not, in fact, consider themselves middle class.

what we wanted
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:48 am EDT, Mar 28, 2015

Andrew Solomon:

Perhaps the immutable error of parenthood is that we give our children what we wanted, whether they want it or not.

Penelope Trunk:

If you want to raise a really successful child, you should let them quit things. Often.


Think telling your children they're special will help them reach higher, work harder and bravely pursue their dreams? Maybe. But you might also be making them narcissists.

Francis Fukuyama:

One of the most sobering graphs in Our Kids shows that while the proportion of young children from college-educated backgrounds living in single-parent families has declined to well under 10 per cent, the number has risen steadily for the working class and now stands at close to 70 per cent.

Jim Tankersley:

About 25 percent of American families are now headed by a single mom, according to Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution, double the rate from 1970. Nearly half the children of single mothers live in poverty.

one thing is for sure
Topic: Miscellaneous 5:22 am EDT, Mar 26, 2015

Michael Shear:

Stung by accusations that it cannot adequately protect the White House, the Secret Service wants to spend $8 million to build another White House in Beltsville, Maryland.

Homer Simpson:

Or what? You'll release the dogs, or the bees? Or the dogs with bees in their mouths and when they bark, they shoot bees at you? Well, go ahead! Do your worst!

Kim Zetter:

The vulnerabilities, which they're calling incursion vulnerabilities, were so easy to find that they wrote a script to automate the process and eventually stopped counting the vulns it uncovered because there were too many.

Patrick Pichette:

How many will you say? How long do you have? But one thing is for sure, I want more. And she deserves more. Lots more.

Mindi Schneider:

More than half of the world's feed crops will soon be eaten by Chinese pigs.

where the light is
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:39 am EDT, Mar 24, 2015


I don't like work -- no man does -- but I like what is in the work, -- the chance to find yourself. Your own reality -- for yourself, not for others -- what no other man can ever know.

Humera Khan:

As the responsibility for counterterrorism has shifted (or is now being shared) from the federal level to the local levels, local law enforcement officials have been encouraged to gather intelligence, which only undermines the initiatives aimed at fostering community trust.

James Comey:

The Internet is the most dangerous parking lot imaginable.

Judith Shulevitz:

Once you designate some spaces as safe, you imply that the rest are unsafe. It follows that they should be made safer.

Eugene Kaspersky:

This is how we save the world: by making the cyberworld safe and secure for everyone.

Judith Shulevitz:

Why are students so eager to self-infantilize? Their parents should probably share the blame.

Dr. Laura Elizabeth Pinto and Dr. Selena Nemorin:

When parents and teachers bring The Elf on the Shelf into homes and classrooms, are they preparing a generation of children to accept, not question, increasingly intrusive (albeit whimsically packaged) modes of surveillance?

Stephanie Simon:

It's the day-to-day posts that those in the business of student surveillance find most illuminating.

Natasha Lennard:

It bodes poorly for freedom of expression if benign social media posts, tracked as they are, can be used against individuals as evidence of violent intent.

Lisa Lieberman:

Fear is democracy's undoing, and the unraveling begins at home.

you're not really looking
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:28 am EDT, Mar 23, 2015

William Deresiewicz:

Am I doing the right thing with my life? Do I believe the things I was taught as a child? What do the words I live by -- words like duty, honor, and country -- really mean? Am I happy?

Caterina Fake:

Much more important than working hard is knowing how to find the right thing to work on.

Choire Sicha:

If there's one thing I wish I'd learned at 18, it's that it's okay if a crazy person hates you.

Sofia Coppola:

It reminds me of something Anjelica Huston told me in my 20s: "Not everyone is going to like you." It saved me years of disappointment.

Leslie Jamison:

The idea of being "greedy" for what's inside of us suggests that we don't already possess ourselves; our own interior landscapes are territories we must map, must claim and reclaim, not terrain we already know or own.

Lewis Carroll:

It will give you clearness of thought -- the ability to see your way through a puzzle -- the habit of arranging your ideas in an orderly and get-at-able form -- and, more valuable than all, the power to detect fallacies, and to tear to pieces the flimsy illogical arguments, which you will so continually encounter in books, in newspapers, in speeches, and even in sermons, and which so easily delude those who have never taken the trouble to master this fascinating Art. Try it. That is all I ask of you!

Marina Abramovic, on Hans Ulrich Obrist:

You're always looking for the new ways of curating, something which has never been done before. And you're able to get into what you call the Places-in-Between. We all find these places when we leave our comfort zones -- our houses, our cities, the friends we know -- and are on our way somewhere. They can be the airport, bus stations; can be fast trains in Japan. And from that Place-in-Between, we go to that other place, the one we know, where we create again our habits and our own set of rules. But in the Places-in-Between, when we're completely open to destiny, anything can happen, anything is possible. Our perception is so sharp and so clear; we see more things in that moment when we are vulnerable and not in our place. If somebody asks you to describe the door of your own house, maybe you don't know how. But in those transitory spaces, the senses work in a different way. This is actually where one functions the most.

Danny Bradbury:

When you walk into your room for the hundredth time, you're not really looking at your wallpaper. Instead, your brain is painting a picture of it for you from memory.

Sterling Hayden:

Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

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